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Winterizing Your Car

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CHARLOTTE, N.C.--That chill in the air is a reminder that all too soon, winter will be here. Now is a good time to prepare your car for those cold, snowy months ahead. Auto experts agree that the right preparation can keep your car running smoothly and safely this winter.

According to AutoHeroes, the first place to start is your tires. Make sure you have a good amount of tread on your tires, so they have a firm grip on snowy, icy roads. Snow tires can make winter driving much easier, so if you have a rear-wheel drive car, a car with high performance tires, or a lightweight vehicle, you might want to consider snow tires.

"To see if your tires need replacing, look at the grooves and make sure that the tires have not worn down to the tire wear bars," Don Rauch, director of dealer communications for Meineke Car Care Centers said. "These are ridges of rubber that run perpendicular to the grooves in your tires. If your tires are past this point, you should replace them."

DriveWerks emphasizes that you should always start the winter with new windshield wiper blades, and replace them again come spring, after they have endured rough weather conditions.

"When replacing your blades, be sure to ask for winter-style ones which can prevent ice buildup," says Wayne R. Dempsey, owner of DriveWerks. "Since visibility is key when driving in stormy conditions, make sure your window washer fluid is full at all times."

AutoHereos urges all car owners to schedule a complete vehicle checkup before winter hits.

"We recommend having your belts, hoses, battery and coolant checked before temperatures really drop. Making sure everything is working as it should helps minimize wear and tear. You may also need to switch to a lower weight of oil in the winter month," Rauch says. "Your heater and defrosters, as well as your battery and anti-freeze are also all critical components for winter driving. You don't want to be cold, you need your windshield clear, and both your anti-freeze and battery are crucial for the starting and operating of your car."

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